On reading and making friends

Littered With Books 2

Littered with Books, one of the indie bookstores in Singapore

I saw my friend Estara share this quote from author Michelle Sagara on Goodreads, and it just resonated with me:

“Life wears us down around the edges. The stress of life and its neces­sities cracks things. We learn to protect ourselves. We learn not to let so much of the world in, because some­times it’s all too much, and we don’t have the resilience we need to survive it. When we’re six, we make best friends easily. When we’re fifty, we don’t. That’s age and expe­rience for you.

But books are different. We can let books in. We can wrap them up in our hearts. We can approach them as if we’re still young and open. Even so, it’s not as simple. Because we’re not as simple.”

(Source: Michelle Sagara “State of the Writer, sort of, September 2015”)

I love this quote because I can relate to it 100%. I have thought about how difficult it is to make friends as I grow older. Most of the (real life) close friends that I have now were people I met in high school or college. I have met some good friends through work but it gets more difficult to keep in touch after we go our separate ways.

In the blog post where that quote came from, Michelle Sagara was talking about Terry Pratchett and how much his books mean to her. And that’s also something that I can definitely relate to, how some books just have so much meaning for us as readers. Like she said, maybe it’s because we’re a lot more open to letting books (rather than people) into our lives. Maybe that’s why some of the books that we read can hit us hard and make us FEEL. I love having that kind of reading experience. And I also love sharing it with bookish friends I’ve met through my blog. I think the same idea applies – I’m probably more open to making friends with bookish folk because I know all of you can understand a side of me that most of my family and friends in real life would not be able to comprehend. Also, with online friendships, I feel like it’s up to me how much I want to engage. So if I ever feel like I need a break (which I rarely do), I just go offline for a bit.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough for this post. I just really wanted to share that lovely quote. And to remind myself that I need to try reading Michelle Sagara’s books.

10 thoughts on “On reading and making friends

  1. I totally love that you got that quote exactly as it hit me (I HAD TO make it into a Goodreads quote), although I think you’re a bit better at keeping real life friends than I am ^^. My friends who share my interests I’ve all come to known over the internet and none live near me. But I’ve now known them for quite a few years and the ones I’ve met in real life have been just as nice as they are online. It was lovely to see you and your friend 😀

    In a spirit of kinship and the pleasure that you can actually put into words why that quote struck me, you’re getting an early Christmas present to your Kindle 😀

    • Estara, thanks again for sharing this quote! I wouldn’t have discovered it if you hadn’t saved it on Goodreads. 🙂 LOL even if my real life friends don’t understand how crazy I am about books, we still have lots in common. I honestly wouldn’t know what I would do if I didn’t have friends I could talk to on a daily basis.

      It was lovely to see you in person too! One of the highlights of our trip to Munich. 😀 Of course it’s always fun to have face to face conversations but even without them, I think you can still build pretty strong friendships. Like even with real life friends nowadays, we mostly stay in touch through online means because we’re in different places.

      Aww you are too kind, Estara. Danke schoen! An early Frohe Weihnachten to you!

      • Thanks a lot, only a few more days – and except for my dad’s present, heh, I have all my Christmas presents, yay ^^.
        You’re so welcome – I hope you’ll enjoy Kaylin, whenever you find the time in your book schedule.

      • Oh you’ve been efficient! I’m doing most of my gift shopping in Manila so I’m behind. I will definitely let you know what I find time to read the books. 🙂 I distinctly remember being introduced to Andrea K. Host when you also sent me a copy of And All the Stars.

  2. That was indeed a lovely and thought provoking quote. I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Michelle Sagara’s books over the years. You might well enjoy her books, too.

    • Kareni, it’s a great quote for book lovers like us. Estara was generous enough to send me Michelle Sagara’s books as gifts so hopefully I can give them a try soon.

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